Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Rod's Xmas Message

TO: All the ministry
FROM: Roderick C. Meredith
DATE: December 4, 2006

Dear Fellow Elders of Jesus Christ,

Greetings from Charlotte! An emergency situation has arisen causing me to want to write to you immediately. When Mr. Charles Bryce was dismissed from his post as the Director of the Ministry over a year ago, he stomped off as a very unhappy man, refusing to come and speak to me afterwards even though he was asked to do so twice by Dibar Apartian upon my behalf. He seemed to be licking his wounds and, we hear, was very unresponsive to many of the brethren there in the Texas area when they tried to call him and contact him for visiting and anointing. However he has now “made his move.” He sent a Fed-Ex package to us here in Charlotte on this past Thursday with identical letters enclosed for four of our Headquarters Evangelists—Apartian, Ames, Winnail and me. This letter explains how he is recreating his version of “Armstrongism.” He expresses that he is unhappy with a number of doctrines and teachings now, that seems a little strange to me, however, as Charles was with us for the last 11 or 12 years and suddenly decides to get upset now all of a sudden. His letter is simply a sort of “rehash” of the approach taken by Gerald Flurry and David Pack. He states his concern that, “LCG teaches that we live in a time of the ‘Greater Church of God’ made up of different branches or church groups.” Mr. Bryce goes on to say that this is wrong—indicating that we should not recognize these other groups as Churches of God.

He then says, “LCG seems to be preaching a mixed, confusing message about the gospel, i.e. that the gospel is the good news of forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and of the soon-coming kingdom and government of God and the name of Jesus Christ. There seems to be movement toward the gospel about Christ and the gospel of salvation.” He then goes on to state that Mr. Armstrong emphasized only the “good news of the kingdom of God”—and then indicates that us talking about Christ may be a dangerous thing!

He then states, “LCG teaches that several church eras exist contemporaneously and that we are living in the Laodicean era as a remnant of the Philadelphia church.” He thinks Mr. Armstrong taught something else and condemns us for this.

Later, he states, “LCG teaches that we have a three-fold commission. Mr. Armstrong taught the church has a two-fold commission—a) Preach the gospel and b) Feed the flock. The warning message is contained in that commission.” So Mr. Bryce here is implying we are wrong by apparently stating—from time to time that preaching the Ezekiel commission is part of our job. All of you know that I have never stated that the idea of the primary two-fold commission is wrong, but have indicated there are other things we should be doing also—just as Mr. Armstrong did.

Without going into every detail, fellow ministers, it is obvious that Mr. Bryce wants to recreate a certain version of Armstrongism and have his people follow that version—which he feels is set in stone. Near the end of his letter, Mr. Bryce states, “If all of us will come back to see the wrong places the church is in now and together get back to the faith once delivered—all the way back and not one iota short of it—we truly believe that God will pour out His blessing on His church and give us the real breakthrough we have all been anxiously waiting for since the beginning.” As you can see, fellow ministers, Mr. Bryce is adamant that we must change “not one iota” of what he thinks Mr. Armstrong was teaching at a particular point and time. However, Mr. Apartian and I who knew Mr. Armstrong fifty times better than Mr. Bryce spent thousands of hours with him both recognize—as Mr. Ames stated—“Mr. Armstrong was an innovating and forward looking man and would grow, modify and ‘tweak’ various doctrines and teachings from time to time when Christ led him to.” As you men know, Mr. Armstrong did change his approach to divorce and remarriage, to healing and medicines, to makeup—in fact back and forth three different times—and to Pentecost, and to quite a number of other things. He definitely would keep growing and modifying if he were still alive. Frankly, he would be surprised that we would think that he would not do this and that some individuals are now teaching that his ideas—at a particular time of their creation—were all “set in stone” as the Ten Commandments! Mr. Armstrong was not like that! So we, as a Church, intend to follow Mr. Armstrong and honor him as he told us to. For Mr. Armstrong said again and again, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” We intend to do that. And, as he would have wished, we intend to put Christ first and grow in grace and in knowledge as we are now in the 21st century, situations change and we need to move forward in many different ways as we reach the entire world in our modern time. We are not ever going to change or modify the Sabbath, the Holy Days or any basic doctrines—as I am sure you all know. But we do intend to follow Jesus Christ and His standards—not the ideas brought up in different ways by the likes of Gerald Flurry, David Pack and Charles Bryce. We are going to reach the whole world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. That is what God commands us to do, and I hope all of you men will join with us fervently and prayerfully in doing this. I hope the above information can help you answer the questions of our brethren as they hear about Mr. Bryce’s defection—along with his son-in-law, Larry Solomon, and perhaps a number of local elders or those who decide to join in this division which they are causing within the Church of God. Unfortunately, after a year or two, the “excitement” of their new organization will fade and they will probably sink into the obscurity that so many others have done who leave the Work which the living Jesus Christ is now doing through us—as He did through Mr. Armstrong. We will appreciate your communication, your prayers and your loyalty at this time.

Your brother in Christ,
Roderick C. Meredith

Commentary: Rod must've been thoroughly rattled - he calls the Church of God "Armstrongism"! An early reaction from one well informed LCG reader: "Remember how Meredith assured us all that Bryce had been begging and pleading to leave Charlotte and take up the quiet life of a regional pastor? Ah, how history changes. Now we are told he "stomped off as a very unhappy man." The rest of the letter speaks mostly for itself...

So far no comment on the Bob Thiel site.


Douglas Becker said...

Gavin, that picture is priceless!

I wonder how many will get it?

Anonymous said...

I was in Charlotte when Bryce left. I love how the truth always comes to the surface over time. There's so much double talk in the LCG right now it's becoming hard for RCM to keep all his stories straight. In time many will come to see this if they're listening. I think many (not all) people respect Bryce and will have a hard time believing RCM.

And these are the stories of the Days of Our Lives...(insert music here)

Gavin said...

Douglas, I've moved the poetry to the previous comments section :-)

Douglas Becker said...

There once was someone named Rod,
Who claimed he was sent only by God,
"This man's the real deal,"
Proclaimed Dr. Thiel,
But he was naught but a fraud!

lil' john said...

Douglas Becker wrote:
Gavin, that picture is priceless!

Yes, in fact, one might say (chomp, chew) Dialectable.
Anyone care for a jelly-baby?


Richard said...

Defect to where?

Is Mr. Bryce starting his own group, or moving to another COG?

Neotherm said...

This is all fractal geometry. Armstrongism is a fractal system and its various subgroups are governed by the property of self-similarity. Any subdivision looks pretty much like the main body. Watching this all happen is like watching a Koch Snowflake iterate. It will never morph to orthodox Christianity. It will forever grow in isolation, replicating itself, its structure becoming finer and finer.

Because it is a fractal system, it is monotonously predictable. One day someone will storm out of Charles Bryce' office and ignite a "new" Armstrongite organization. This event probably happens many times every year across all the Armstrongite fractals. And it never results in anything disimilar to the original Armstrongite curve.

But the sad fact is that this is not just a description of geometric objects, but of the lives of people, lives that are caught in a horrific process like flies on flypaper. But, eerily, I never hear shouts for help.


Dennis said...

It always seems to come down to HWA being the original and perfect template and basis upon which countless "true churches" can rate their understanding things God.

No two human being are alike, much less two organizations even if one claims to be the extention of the first. The COG's fight evolution and strive for the sameness of HWA. Nothing in realityc could ever successfully work that way. That's the power of a meme. A mind virus that is especially difficult to defeat when acquired in one's youth.

I find it sad that men I am sure were "friends in meme" not long ago can resort to labeling one as "the LIKES of Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and Charles Bryce." "Likes" and "Ilk" I think are synonymous in this use. Very sad. I wonder if the COG's still sing "we are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity" with a straight face anymore.....

Libro said...

Personally, I leave out the "we are not divided" bit...

jorgheinz said...

What's the BRYCE of moving on,
His sun has set when once it shone.
Now preach the gospel as did Herb,
Wait to hear the ancient blurb.
Another splinter sets up shop,
This Xmas they will drink just pop.
Send them six-packs for New Year
To keep their larynx ever clear.
Greetings friends might be the call,
Herb's in business after all.

jorgheinz said...


Will Living have (Winn)-AIL at their Christmas (A)-PARTI-(an)?

Rod's message was BRYCELESS.


Anonymous said...

the likes of Gerald Flurry, David Pack and Charles Bryce

So Meredith is saying it was OK for "the likes of Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack" to be over the LCG brethren in Texas, but it's only not OK when that doctrinally unsound abuser of the brethren dares to leave LCG? Sure doesn't sound as though RCM has much love for the LCG brethren, does it?

Anonymous said...

>>>Mr. Armstrong did change his approach to divorce and remarriage, to healing and medicines, to makeup<<<

Healing doctrine??? Healing doctrine (again)???

Horse shit I say! Did the LCG ever allow it's members to seek out psychological help so that they don't kill off all the membership, along with those precious tithe dollars? Did Herb ever allow that? No, unless you were a minister with a problem with ocular degeneration!
How many members did Herb let allow to seek out psychological help? None!
How about divorce and remarriage? Only one. Herb himself!
Medicine? Herb embraced it as he was dying of HIV! Don't believe me? Let us exhume him for testing!
In fact, perhaps we should exhume his dead son Ted! What did he really die from?

Anonymous said...

Well, i know Charles Bryce and have been at the wrong end of his temper. He will lie when backed into a corner and then flail away at anyone in his path while he works his way out of that corner. Hmnn! I wonder whom he was imitating? It was a relative of his that was in the COG7 when Herb was made one of the hundred or seventy or whatever and Bryce's relative was one of the hundred if i recall correctly. Bryce has said some pretty wild stuff over the years and he idolizes ole Herb maybe even more than Spanky. That is why sometimes , like in the instance of Herb breaking away from COG7 to start a church was ok, but anyone else was not. They all had poor memory of the past (A.K.A. selective memory) or they would be able to see thru the deception they have wrecked upon the minions over the years. Lording it over someone seemed to have been their call signs. At least their strong suite. Bryce has preached over and over about the evil of starting your own church, but then you never know.
As i said early on here, Bryce will LIE, and since i have caught him in more than even maybe Spanky,in lies, i would just blow off all he has written as the ramblings of an old fart (like spanky) who will hopefully come to terms with his/their deceptive practices before they die and repent.
rod 2

camfinch said...

OK, anonymous, you have made a stunning speculation: that HWA was actually dying of HIV/AIDS, rather than the stated heart failure. I am certainly not one to cling to the coat-tails of the anointed Elijah for the End Time, but you seem to have some inside knowledge that perhaps none of the rest of us have been privy to. And you have also insinutated GTA's death in the same realm. I am not trying to challenge you: but only to say, just what is it that you know? It is relevant to this forum!

The Scottish-English-Czech Finch in Charlotte

Anonymous said...


There was one time when he said he would not get a blood transfusion because the Dr. could not guarantee he would not get AIDS. He was afraid of getting it.

Anonymous said...

Rod seems well adept at making up
his own version of the truth. I am
afraid that Bryce and Solomon were
not aware that they had resigned, but learned of it second hand. Bryce was scheduled to meet with Meredith and Winnail this coming weekend to discuss issues of concerns such as the Council of Elders recent decision to allow a
member in Mississippi to work on the Sabbath and other recent decisions that would be considered
"liberal" by many in the Living
membership. You have to hand it to
Rod. He knows how to do a pre-emptive strike and that's exactly
the treatment he has given Bryce and Syd Hull, who also had some
legitimate concerns. Keep your eyes
closed and your wallets open and you'll do just fine in the LCG.
And I should know, because I am one, so I'll be out in the cold
if I don't sign this

Anonymous said...


When it comes to the trunk of the tree of a religious movement, yes it does! Back then when Herb bit the dust, HIV was unknown to the vast majority of mankind. Where did he "catch" this nasty little bug? Perhaps on that overpriced flying whore house that was flying over Pasadena! And to add insult to personal injury, with your hard earned tithe dollars..... sponsoring his immoral behavior!

charlie kieran said...

Folks - This is yet another nail in the coffin for armstrongism. I hope I live to see the day they fold their tents and skulk away.

camfinch said...


If the reports of HWA's wild life in his late years are true, HIV/AIDS could have certainly been a possibility, and he died within five years of AIDS being recognized as a distinct syndrome. (I first read about it in 1981, and it was a good two years later before researchers were starting to get any sort of handle on it.)

Charlie, I agree with you: this thing going on between Rod and Charlie, and the language used on Rod's part, is a possible sign of some kind of meltdown. I have never known Meredith to write publicly (OK, it was a letter to his ministers, but somehow it became public) in the style that he is now using. There is a clear desperation in all of this, and it may be most interesting to see the fallout.

Anonymous said...

Different anonymous

"If the reports of HWA's wild life in his late years are true, HIV/AIDS could have certainly been a possibility, and he died within five years of AIDS being recognized as a distinct syndrome"

Thats foolishness. Does it occur to you that a guy in his 90's who had heart problems for the last 10 years of his life might simply have gone the way of all flesh and died as people in their 90's commonly do?

charlie kieran said...

I really, really, really, really doubt that armstrong had aids. He probably wasn't even sexually active after his heart attack. At 90+ years of age, I would imagine his decrepitude caught up with him. If the S.O.B. had sworn off medical science as he told all of us we should, he probably would have been worm vittles 10-15 years earlier.

Gavin said...

I've never heard any suggestion that Herb's death was anything other than what they said it was.

On the other hand, when it comes to Ted...

camfinch said...

"Thats foolishness. Does it occur to you that a guy in his 90's who had heart problems for the last 10 years of his life might simply have gone the way of all flesh and died as people in their 90's commonly do?"

I expect that that is truly the case. I have no reason to think that he died of anything but heart problems. And he was 93 years old at his death. But to just make one aside: HIV/AIDS often takes years in development within the human body, and just for the sake of argument, it is conceivable that HWA could have contracted the virus long before his heart attack. A lot of people were exposed to HIV (which had not been identified at that time) going back probably into the late 1960s, and most certainly through the '70s; this is why there was such a rapid growth in the number of AIDS cases so suddenly from the early '80s onward: there was a "backlog" of people who had contracted HIV years before (such as the late, great Freddie Mercury), and suddenly many of these broke out into full-blown AIDS. So: for HWA, if the wild stories are true, that is a possibility. But I believe that he did indeed die of heart disease/failure.

But as for GTA.....

Anonymous said...

For "Different anonymous"

I recall in Herbert's last telephone sermon to his brain dead flock (includes me) that he was very weak and had received several blood transfusions. He was anemic, typical of an alcoholic. Was anemia an on going issue? Very possible, even for decades. http://www.anemia.com/about_anemia/understanding_anemia.jsp
However, I believe that Herb got HIV from some of the whores he “used” overseas. Condom use is a birth control method and a V.D. preventive measure. But if he received oral pleasure from “whatever” he could very well have contracted HIV from his sexual partner. I think we are all educated now days to understand how this is possible.

Anonymous said...

Ding Dong HWA is gone lets move on.

RCM spins to the right Bryce spins to the left and the congregations get spun right down the middle with out even known they were spun.